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I've been shopping for log splitter lately. I'll be buying my own house soon I hope, as does my fiance. And we would heat with wood. My mom's house also is wood heat and so is my grandpa's. Between the three we have about five different splitting mauls. I don't think I'll have the time to split for two houses and my grandpa is starting to feel age. Currently I have seen Dirty Hand Tools, Countyline, Yardmax and Brute brand log splitters. I think the Yardmax offers the most. We cut and burn everything from the branches to 36" diameter logs. Our furnace takes up to 26" logs but I normally cut them 20-22. I've read that 25-27 tons of capacity is alright for what I do. Or would a 30 ton be better? Thanks in advance.
 

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From what I read in my limited search, it depends quite a bit on the type of wood you split.
If its all softwood, lower tonnage will work great, if its all hardwood, youll need bigger.
Several of the brands are the same splitter, just rebranded.

I can say that where I live, I deal with a lot of Ash. My neighbor has loan of an old 22 ton MTD/Yardman? type splitter, and its been well used. It works fine. We split a couple 36" pieces last year just to see what it would do. It took a bit, but it split it.
For me, and what Im splitting, I know the splitter in your range would work just fine.

Something else to consider too, is the speed at which it works. I learned that in my search too, but found that info over on arboristforum.
Find a good site where people process wood and youll get a good idea of what works and what doesnt, and whats overkill.

I never went any further than that, because I dont use wood for heat except for emergencies. Around here, its just for fun. Splitting by hand is good exercise, but taxing if you have to do a lot of it, and in my case, a lot of what I split gets given away to friends, and thats not fun work, lol. I revisit the splitter thing every time I break out the maul, but have yet to do anything. Im waiting on a smoking deal on a used one to pop up I guess.
 
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Thank you. We cut maple, a lot of ash, some poplar and cherry. Rarely ever do we do oak.
I'm in CT and I cut those woods along with a bunch of oak. I will say sometimes maple can be harder to split than some oak.In the past, I've borrowed an older 27 ton Yard Machines and a 34 ton Ariens. There were significant differences in splitting capability. From that point I knew I wanted a bigger splitter.

A few months ago I just purchased a 37 ton NorthStar (from Northern Tool) and I couldn't be happier. I've tried green oak and maple and haven't had any issues. Adding the 4-way wedge also has sped up the process. I'm a big fan of going stronger, that way there won't be any issues down the road. NorthStar is another brand to consider. The splitter is definitely overbuilt and well made.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200629183_200629183
 

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Here in NW Missouri we have hardwood—black walnut, Osage orange, oak and maple. The Harbor Freight 20 ton does a great job...much better than my old 27 ton splitter. It splits in both directions—a feature that once you’ve used, you’ll never go back. I’ve never run into a log it will not split—including some cottonwood over 30”.

For the price (20-25% off depending on the coupon used, so under $700) this is one amazing splitter. As noted, it performs better than the old 27 ton unit and is much quicker, quiter and easier on fuel. I’m not a HF fan, but this splitter is a purchase that I’m glad I made.

 
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I have a NorthStar, think it's a 24 ton. I think anything from 22-27 ton will work for what you are doing. I considered the Dirty Hands but went with the North Star. I think the big thing to consider besides the splitting tonnage is the engine and then the cycle speed. I went with a Honda engine. Yes, you will pay more but I bet that Honda outlasts the entire log splitter and maybe the operator. I really like the easy one or two pulls to get it started. The cycle time was also fairly quick if I remember on the North Star. I also like the little trays for the split log to rest on as opposed to just falling off the splitter.

To be honest I bought too nice of a splitter for what I use it for. If I was going to use it every day then it was the right one. For the occasional use like I have then it's way too much splitter. I should have bought the Dirty Hands or TSC house brand.

As far as splitting mauls or axes I recommend you consider this X27 Super Splitting Axe (36")

It works really well. My 13 year old (at the time) was able to use it with ease on oak whereas my traditional splitting maul pretty much owned him.
 

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I have used large hydraulic splitters in the past. Lots of power, I think it could split a log in half across the Grain!!:lol:

When it came time for me to get a splitter I went with and Electric (cause the power is free for me, Solar panels) and it was very fast.
Check into Super Split, they make an electric and a gas powered one and its made in America.:thumbup1gif:

Not the Best choice for many but it works well for me. I heat exclusively with wood. 3 cords/year to heat our 2700sq ft house.
I burn mostly shagbark hickory and sugar maple. I leave Poplar (aspen) and soft maples to rot as they contain less heat.
I cut only live trees, split and stack right away. The only issue I have is on really bad crotches. I have come to the point if I cut a tree with a 3 or 4 way crotch I cut around the crotch and leave it in the woods. I tend to cut mostly smaller trees (under 18") and cut to 16" length.

Just another option.
 

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I'm in CT and I cut those woods along with a bunch of oak. I will say sometimes maple can be harder to split than some oak.In the past, I've borrowed an older 27 ton Yard Machines and a 34 ton Ariens. There were significant differences in splitting capability. From that point I knew I wanted a bigger splitter.

A few months ago I just purchased a 37 ton NorthStar (from Northern Tool) and I couldn't be happier. I've tried green oak and maple and haven't had any issues. Adding the 4-way wedge also has sped up the process. I'm a big fan of going stronger, that way there won't be any issues down the road. NorthStar is another brand to consider. The splitter is definitely overbuilt and well made.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200629183_200629183
Do you notice an increased speed over the smaller ton unit or just the power?

Im curious as Ive read before where some of the higher rated units have a much longer cycle time. I dont have personal experience with it, but from what I read and was told on another forum, I discounted those from my search. Price wise, they dont seem to be too much more, and I too generally thought that a higher rated unit would perform better.
 

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I'm in CT and I cut those woods along with a bunch of oak. I will say sometimes maple can be harder to split than some oak.In the past, I've borrowed an older 27 ton Yard Machines and a 34 ton Ariens. There were significant differences in splitting capability. From that point I knew I wanted a bigger splitter.

A few months ago I just purchased a 37 ton NorthStar (from Northern Tool) and I couldn't be happier. I've tried green oak and maple and haven't had any issues. Adding the 4-way wedge also has sped up the process. I'm a big fan of going stronger, that way there won't be any issues down the road. NorthStar is another brand to consider. The splitter is definitely overbuilt and well made.

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200629183_200629183
Do you notice an increased speed over the smaller ton unit or just the power?

Im curious as Ive read before where some of the higher rated units have a much longer cycle time. I dont have personal experience with it, but from what I read and was told on another forum, I discounted those from my search. Price wise, they dont seem to be too much more, and I too generally thought that a higher rated unit would perform better.
I'm coming up on getting a new splitter as well and was curious like IndianaJim as to the speed of the 37T Northstar.
 
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I split a lot of wood myself and decided to build my own. I got a used frame with no components for free and then build the rest. If you are handy you can build a really beefy splitter that way for cheap. I don't know the capacity of mine but its never struggled on any type of wood I have split. In fact its probably overkill for the frame as I have broke a couple of welds that I had to strengthen. I have around 400 bucks in it. Having said that my buddy have the harbor freight 20 ton capacity one and its pretty nice. Splits fast and has plenty of power. I personally like the horizontal splitters better then the vertical ones but I know a lot of people like the vertical. I will say that I never regretted getting a splitter, I used to split wood with an ax for years and then I finally built mine and I will never go back. Its so much faster and easier on the body.
 

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I got the 25 ton CountyLine from Tractor Supply last year and I've used it to split green red oak, ash and cherry and didn't really have any issues. It's a little slow and it bogs down a little on the oak, but it still got through and split. I got it when it was on sale and they had the customer 15% off special. Saved some $$. If I wanted to spend more money, the NorthStar was on the top of my list, but I opted to save some benjamins.
 

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We bought a 30 ton Brute from Lowes. It works great, not the fastest but I've yet to stop it.
Before that borrowed a 25 ton County Line from a friend. Killed that a few times. Those same logs were split with the 30T.

We don't heat with it, but dad is talking about putting in a wood boiler, so we may start.
Right now, its just for camp fires.
 

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I'm coming up on getting a new splitter as well and was curious like IndianaJim as to the speed of the 37T Northstar.
So the NorthStar is definitely faster than the Yard Machines. It's on par maybe slightly slower than Ariens 34T. Now the Ariens has an adjustable throttle and my friend left it around 3/4 to full depending on the stress on the splitter. The North Start idles at a lower rpm, but once the cylinder moves down, it runs at a higher rpm. Overall I'm happy with the North Star. IMHO it's a big nut but worth it.
 

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I grew up burning wood in a Sam Daniels wood furnace in our 200+ y/o house in NH. You could feed it with a 30" long stick of wood with a diameter of 20". The house had 13 rooms and you could feel a breeze in the winter going through it if there was a high wind outside. We burned 12 cord of wood a winter, mostly oak and ash and guess who split most of it by hand as a teenager with a hammer (splitting maul) and wedges. I got real good at hitting the wedge squarely and I could split stuff with crotches and all. My father taught me how to do it. Since then I have used many different home made hydraulic splitters of all types and i have used many commercial horizontal/vertical up to 40 ton both with their own motor as well as those running off the tractors hydraulic pump (I own the TSC 3 point hitch splitter https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/countyline-3-point-hitch-log-splitter?cm_vc=-10005 which came with the 990 when I purchased it used). They all work fine with some being faster than others and some better than others. I have a friend who is really good at finding used items and he found a used Splitfire that we went in on together. This splitter is out of Canada. One person posted about the HF 20 ton $700 splitter that splits both ways. https://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-log-splitter-61594.html saying how they liked it and the speed. I am going to guess they modeled it after the Splitfire. I can tell you that the splitfire is built like a tank and you can get it with different tonnage. I will also say I have never worked with a splitter that can split as fast as it does especially if you have a couple of people to work with you. There is no return time because it will split both ways. When my friend and I are using it together with one other person it is amazing how fast we can split a cord of wood. I burn 6 cord a winter and it is all oak and white ash. I have split oak rounds close to 40" in diameter (i have a Stihl 044 saw with a 28" bar) with it with no problem. We bought the hydraulic lift kit and I had a local welder weld it on for us. That takes care of getting 40" round diameter oak rounds onto the splitter and it also make a handy table for when you are splitting them. At times we load it up with the smaller rounds. Again the speed is like lightning. I personally would not go with any other splitter for personal use. You can find them here Split-Fire Sales Inc. :: 4490 Woodsplitter :: Quality Built. High Performance. Split-Fire - Your Best Choice with this link being for largest tonnage unit.

I would not buy any other splitter if I had to do it over again.

P.S. Splitfire also makes a 3PH which will run off of the tractors hydraulics as well http://www.split-fire.com/splitter_3p_4403.html.
 

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I grew up burning wood in a Sam Daniels wood furnace in our 200+ y/o house in NH. You could feed it with a 30" long stick of wood with a diameter of 20". The house had 13 rooms and you could feel a breeze in the winter going through it if there was a high wind outside. We burned 12 cord of wood a winter, mostly oak and ash and guess who split most of it by hand as a teenager with a hammer (splitting maul) and wedges. I got real good at hitting the wedge squarely and I could split stuff with crotches and all. My father taught me how to do it. Since then I have used many different home made hydraulic splitters of all types and i have used many commercial horizontal/vertical up to 40 ton both with their own motor as well as those running off the tractors hydraulic pump (I own the TSC 3 point hitch splitter https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/countyline-3-point-hitch-log-splitter?cm_vc=-10005 which came with the 990 when I purchased it used). They all work fine with some being faster than others and some better than others. I have a friend who is really good at finding used items and he found a used Splitfire that we went in on together. This splitter is out of Canada. One person posted about the HF 20 ton $700 splitter that splits both ways. https://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-log-splitter-61594.html saying how they liked it and the speed. I am going to guess they modeled it after the Splitfire. I can tell you that the splitfire is built like a tank and you can get it with different tonnage. I will also say I have never worked with a splitter that can split as fast as it does especially if you have a couple of people to work with you. There is no return time because it will split both ways. When my friend and I are using it together with one other person it is amazing how fast we can split a cord of wood. I burn 6 cord a winter and it is all oak and white ash. I have split oak rounds close to 40" in diameter (i have a Stihl 044 saw with a 28" bar) with it with no problem. We bought the hydraulic lift kit and I had a local welder weld it on for us. That takes care of getting 40" round diameter oak rounds onto the splitter and it also make a handy table for when you are splitting them. At times we load it up with the smaller rounds. Again the speed is like lightning. I personally would not go with any other splitter for personal use. You can find them here Split-Fire Sales Inc. :: 4490 Woodsplitter :: Quality Built. High Performance. Split-Fire - Your Best Choice with this link being for largest tonnage unit.

I would not buy any other splitter if I had to do it over again.

P.S. Splitfire also makes a 3PH which will run off of the tractors hydraulics as well Split-Fire Sales Inc. :: 4403 Woodsplitter :: Quality Built. High Performance. Split-Fire - Your Best Choice.
Whoa. Now that is a nice splitter!
Where do they sell them in US i wonder? Never saw one before.

*emailed them for dealer list in US
 
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. . . One person posted about the HF 20 ton $700 splitter that splits both ways. https://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-log-splitter-61594.html saying how they liked it and the speed. I am going to guess they modeled it after the Splitfire. I can tell you that the splitfire is built like a tank and you can get it with different tonnage. I will also say I have never worked with a splitter that can split as fast as it does especially if you have a couple of people to work with you. There is no return time because it will split both ways. When my friend and I are using it together with one other person it is amazing how fast we can split a cord of wood. I burn 6 cord a winter and it is all oak and white ash. I have split oak rounds close to 40" in diameter (i have a Stihl 044 saw with a 28" bar) with it with no problem. We bought the hydraulic lift kit and I had a local welder weld it on for us. That takes care of getting 40" round diameter oak rounds onto the splitter and it also make a handy table for when you are splitting them. At times we load it up with the smaller rounds. Again the speed is like lightning. I personally would not go with any other splitter for personal use. You can find them here Split-Fire Sales Inc. :: 4490 Woodsplitter :: Quality Built. High Performance. Split-Fire - Your Best Choice with this link being for largest tonnage unit.
I’m the one who posted my recommendation of the HF two way splitter. This is my fourth season with the splitter, and it’s never given me a problem. Not having to wait for the cylinder to return is a game changer. As a trade off, you lose about 2” for maximum length, but that is no big deal unless you are burning longer than average logs. The Slit-Fire looks great, and the HF is in all likelihood a knock off of this design. For those who have not used a bi-directional splitter, the time savings is significant.
 
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I grew up burning wood in a Sam Daniels wood furnace in our 200+ y/o house in NH. You could feed it with a 30" long stick of wood with a diameter of 20". The house had 13 rooms and you could feel a breeze in the winter going through it if there was a high wind outside. We burned 12 cord of wood a winter, mostly oak and ash and guess who split most of it by hand as a teenager with a hammer (splitting maul) and wedges. I got real good at hitting the wedge squarely and I could split stuff with crotches and all. My father taught me how to do it. Since then I have used many different home made hydraulic splitters of all types and i have used many commercial horizontal/vertical up to 40 ton both with their own motor as well as those running off the tractors hydraulic pump (I own the TSC 3 point hitch splitter https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/countyline-3-point-hitch-log-splitter?cm_vc=-10005 which came with the 990 when I purchased it used). They all work fine with some being faster than others and some better than others. I have a friend who is really good at finding used items and he found a used Splitfire that we went in on together. This splitter is out of Canada. One person posted about the HF 20 ton $700 splitter that splits both ways. https://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-log-splitter-61594.html saying how they liked it and the speed. I am going to guess they modeled it after the Splitfire. I can tell you that the splitfire is built like a tank and you can get it with different tonnage. I will also say I have never worked with a splitter that can split as fast as it does especially if you have a couple of people to work with you. There is no return time because it will split both ways. When my friend and I are using it together with one other person it is amazing how fast we can split a cord of wood. I burn 6 cord a winter and it is all oak and white ash. I have split oak rounds close to 40" in diameter (i have a Stihl 044 saw with a 28" bar) with it with no problem. We bought the hydraulic lift kit and I had a local welder weld it on for us. That takes care of getting 40" round diameter oak rounds onto the splitter and it also make a handy table for when you are splitting them. At times we load it up with the smaller rounds. Again the speed is like lightning. I personally would not go with any other splitter for personal use. You can find them here Split-Fire Sales Inc. :: 4490 Woodsplitter :: Quality Built. High Performance. Split-Fire - Your Best Choice with this link being for largest tonnage unit.

I would not buy any other splitter if I had to do it over again.

P.S. Splitfire also makes a 3PH which will run off of the tractors hydraulics as well Split-Fire Sales Inc. :: 4403 Woodsplitter :: Quality Built. High Performance. Split-Fire - Your Best Choice.
The big downside in hydraulic splitters is always been the speed.
If speed is a concern than hydraulic is not the way to go.

Splitting both ways is one of those "DOH" why didn't I think of that moments.
Cuts all the slow return time out, but the splitting stroke is still slow.
But even splitting both ways its still slower than the kinetic splitters.
The wife and I used to split using a hydraulic, she would run the lever and I'd maneuver the wood.
Gotta trust the wife!:laugh:
2 people on a hydraulic is still slower than 1 person on a kinetic splitter.
Of course the downside of kinetic splitters is ability to split really crotchy very hard to split stuff.
I can split a double crotch probably 90% of the time with mine. Like I mentioned the really bad stuff I just cut around and leave.


Kinetic splitters are about twice as fast as even the 2 way hydraulic splitters.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=21&v=FnqVeaKj23c
 

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Yes I have looked at the kinetic splitters and I agree if you have small wood and it is straight they are very fast and work well. However when you have real big stuff and pieces with branches and "Y's" etc they have a hard time as you mentioned. Hydraulic may be slower in some ways but you do have the power. With the splitfire and 2 guys on the wood and one on the handle you can go almost as fast as the kinetic and you can also handle all the big stuff and the knurly ones too!
 

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I just purchased a Champion 34 Ton log splitter from Home Depot. After taking the unit apart and reassembling it because whoever put this thing together at Home Depot had no clue what the heck they were doing, I serviced it with engine oil and hydraulic fluid and put it to use right away. I’m not a massive consumer of firewood but this thing is a power house. I was splitting 24” round oak and the thing didn’t even grunt! I am a happy guy!
 

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